BOKS STUNT ITALY
By: Siyabonga Ngcobo
On Saturday, Springboks easily won their first test of the series by beating Italy 44-10 at the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
Before the game started, Heyneke Meyer the coach of South African team said, “I’ve got a great feeling about this team. But it’s going to be tough. Italy is a quality team.”
As the whistle was blown, the Boks started to attack early. Italy became ill-discipline and in seven minutes the Boks were awarded two penalties which Morne Steyn converted them to give the home side an early 6-0 lead.
Seven minutes later the ball went out on a dangerous field for Italy. The line-out favoured the Boks which hooker Adrian Strauss took advantage of and dove to score a try and Steyn converted it to make the score 13-0.
After 20 minutes, Boks wing Bryan Habana made an excellent break and released the ball to wing JJ Engelbrecht who scored the second try for the team and Steyn converted to add 7 points on the score board.
Italy struggled all the way to the first half without a point even though their captain Sergio Parisse tried to make a run but was stopped and awarded a penalty which their flyhalf Alberto Di Bernardo missed.
Later in the half, the Boks seemed to be losing shape on their defence and they conceded penalty 30 metres away from the poles. Italy decided not to kick it and opted for lineout which they failed to score.
During break time the Springboks forward coach said, “We will not change too much in second half. Just be more clinical and finish our opportunities.”
In the second half, Italy built up a good attack and their centre Alberto Sgarbi scored a good try after his captain Parisse thrown to him a brilliant pass. Di Bernardo converted it to make the score 20-7.
The home side seemed to be losing concentration and Italy gained possession and attacked more. On the 60th minute, visitors were awarded a penalty which Di Bernado converted to put his team on 10-20.
Meyer made a substitute of Jano Vermaak for Ruan Piernaar. Boks made their comeback as Steyn converted another two penalties and Bryn Habana scored his first try of the game after a brilliant run with his infamous pace.
Thirteen minutes before the end of the game Springboks were leading by 30-10. The Boks came again as their backline made a swift move passing the ball along the line, which ended in the hands of the captain De Villers who scored a try and Styen converted to put S.A. on 37-10.
In the last few minutes to the end of the game, Bjourn bassoon scored the last try for the Boks and Steyn’s replacement, Patrick Lambie, converted it to seal the final score as 44-10 victory.
News24 reported that Bryan Habana, the man of the match, said, “A good starting block, we will take the good out of this game and work on the negatives.”